War, Part 2: The Story of You and the Lies You Tell

The Meaning of Stories and Lies
In Part 1, At War With Myself, we heard that a person pretends to be of one mind and one heart, while the truth is that each of us is full of contradictions. We’re full of warring personalities and beliefs.

Where did these contradictory, and often limiting beliefs come from?
They came from our parents, friends, teachers, and others within our society.

However, people didn’t make up these beliefs and stories in a creative writing class!
Every belief, however misguided, serves some kind of purpose. The beliefs that we were taught were an attempt to make sense out of a life which is usually complex, and often overwhelming and unfathomable. The stories are used to feel safe, important, loved, and in control.

We’re all trying to make sense out of life, to find the meaning in it, and to look for a direction to go in.

We’re taught stories, or we make them up, to serve some part of ourselves. If my beliefs are full of lies and contradictions, my stories will explain my life in twisted ways. Ways that alter my perception of external reality to fit my pre-existing beliefs.

Learning from the Movies
Have you ever seen a movie, or read a book?

Sometimes these stories have a deep effect on us. Still, when the story ends, or shortly afterwards, the story is gone. It loses its hold on us, and we can replace it with another.

The stories that we tell about ourselves, our lives, and other people aren’t much different.

They’re just stories. If you see that a story takes away your power, is destructive and full of lies, let it go.

As we travel through life, we collect stories, and over time, this collection of stories is an incredible burden.

We can just let go of our burden, setting it down like a bag of heavy stones, and start to walk light and free.

What’s His Story?
Did you ever hear someone use this expression, or use it yourself?
Sometimes this expression is a way of asking “what’s up with him?” Why is he feeling or acting a certain way? What’s behind it?
Sometimes the question goes deeper. We’re looking to understand what that person is all about. What makes him tick? What drives him?

A story can be much more than a collection of facts or events.
A story is a way of connecting facts, events, and lives that explains those details, and brings out the meaning in those details:

  • What are the passions?
  • What are the goals?
  • What are the challenges?
  • What do the people in the story believe?
  • Are the beliefs true or false?
  • Do those beliefs enrich the lives of the people, or are they a burden
  • Do your beliefs create more possibility in your life, or do they make your world smaller?

Do you tell yourself such rich stories, that ask and answer such questions? Can you build a stage in your mind and heart where such stories can be told?

You have the power to fill yourself with powerful stories that are chapters of one great, consistent story: the story of what’s truly important to you, and the greatness that you can reveal in yourself.

Childhood Stories
The first stories that we’re taught come from our parents.
These are stories that are very popular and yet extraordinarily destructive:

  • The world is dangerous
  • If something is unknown or unfamiliar it must be dangerous
  • Profound personal change is nearly impossible
  • You are powerless
  • You are a victim
  • Other people and external events are at fault when you fail. You must blame them to feel safe.
  • If you can’t find anyone directly to blame, start blaming people who are living the life that you desire.
  • If all else fails, start blaming parts of yourself: your beliefs, physical desires, emotions, etc.

Are you confused? I seem to be questioning some of your beliefs, yet it sounds like I’m saying that you shouldn’t blame your own beliefs.

There’s a difference between understanding the forces at work within you, or outside of you, and blaming them.
Blame says:

  • “I can’t”
  • “I’m not responsible”

The Power of Living without Blame
Do you want to change a belief that doesn’t serve you?

The first step is to just see it for what it is without blame.
Why is this so important?

Blame turns my powerful desire to reveal my greatness and create my future, into an obsession with the past and the present. Blame transforms the energy of this desire for the future, into negative, destructive emotions towards others, or negative emotions towards some part of myself. Those emotions bleed away the power of what I’ve seen and understood about my present and future.

Robert Fritz discusses a similar idea in several of his books, including Creating. Fritz writes of a power that fuels all artistic creation, and all great achievement.

What is that power?
It comes from living with the contrast or tension between current reality and the future that we want to create. This is not “I hate the present, or I hate myself, so I want to escape to the future”. It is staying focused on the future that I desire, and keeping my present situation calmly in focus so I can see clearly what I have to do to create the future.

See and feel at full strength what your life is like now, with your potential obscured by lies and stories, and what’s possible for you.

See this and you have the power to change. There will still be obstacles, but this is the beginning of your future.

Inner War<< Previous in Series                     Next in Series >>
  1. War, Part 1: At War with Myself
  2. War, Part 2: The Story of You and the Lies You Tell
  3. War, Part 3: At War with Others

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